Since it is my first official day back at school, I thought it would be fitting to recall my final days in Ghana.
Making our way back from Benin, we stopped in Lome for one last night – this time staying at the famed ‘Le Galion’. It was a pretty normal night of food, wine and of course, the Big Bang Theory. (In our two-something week trek, we made it through 2 seasons!)
After leaving Lome, we decided to finally visit Ada, a destination that we had skipped on the way to Togo. This was our third time planning to visit the beach town, and we finally made it there.
We did get stopped by some Ghanaian police on the way there. They did not arrest me, expect brides or steal my passport. It made me remember how much I missed Ghana. I had to go into the police headquarters so they could ‘register’ my passport (or something along those lines). When I did, there was a young fellow working who was ecstatic to see I was from Canada.
“Canada, I really want to go there to study”
Me: “Well where do you want to go in Canada?” — Expecting it to be one of the big cities.
“Brandon University. They have a program that I really like there.”
Me: “O really?” — Thinking that he was looking at my passport which says I was born in Brandon. That’s when I realized that I hadn’t given him my passport yet, only Raquel’s.
He was actually just super psyched about moving to good ol’ Manitoba. I hope he eventually makes it over here.
So, back to Ada, which is a pretty interesting place. The place we stayed was a collection of huts (that had no floor). We arrived via lake and across the sand bar is the ocean. Two for one deal, right?
Raquel and I took this opportunity to tan on the beach, sleep on comfy hammocks and drink cheap gin. It was a pretty awesome vacation night.
From there, we went to meet Adom in Accra. She was coming into say goodbye, plus carry my 50 pound luggage from Takoradi. I love her!
That night, Adom said the best thing to me: “Ghana without you is going to be like fufu without the soup.” For those of you who don’t know what fufu is, it’s a traditional Ghanaian dish that looks like this:
People in Ghana love their fufu. Seriously. One time we went to a restaurant that didn’t serve Fufu. Richard went into this huge rant about how it is Constitutional right to have Fufu for supper. People in Ghana love their fufu. So, Adom’s comment made me sad.
The next day was so typically Ghana, its hard to explain. And my last day.
1st: Nana Adjoa ended up being in Accra for the day, so I got to give her a proper Goodbye – and check out the new hair!
2nd: We walked an hour to go see Ali (Razak’s brother) who gave us back some stuff we had been storing at his place.
PS. He is a vet in Accra. And I really didn’t understand it. I had to seriously ask him “So, what do you do as a vet in Ghana? Do you like neuter dogs and cats? Or like help with calving season…?”
Most dogs and cats I saw were wild. Even the ones that are in compounds (like the dogs at our house) are used more for protection and lizard-eating then a best-friend. Ali told me that yes, there is a growing trend of ‘pets’ (at least in Accra) and he does surgeries on dogs and cats, as well as sells food, medicine and actual animals. I was glad he cleared that up.
3rd: Raquel owed me money, so we went to the bank across the street but there was no money in the ATM.We asked how long it would be and they said about 15 mins. We came back 30 mins later and they said it was no done yet. A line had started to form at the bank.
We asked them if there was another branch nearby. They told us that because of traffic, it would probably take 20 mins (aka 40 mins) to get there. We asked how long the ATM would be, they said 10 mins.
20 minutes later, we finally just give the lady our cell phone number and tell her to call us when the ATM gets filled. We walked down the street to a spot (the local bar/restaurant) and got some beer while we waited.
We were so hungry but between Raquel and I, we had 4 cedi in cash – just enough to get two beers. After about an hour, we got the call that there was now money in the ATM.
Since by this point, it was almost time for me to go to the airport, we decided to go to a rice/chicken stand, get my old standby meal and well, maybe one more Star beer before I left.
Then it was off to the airport — which meant getting stuck and traffic and the fastest money/chocolate bar transfer in a moving vehicle I have ever done.
While waiting in the airport, I made all my goodbye calls, followed by calls by Raquel and Adom telling me they were partying in my honor. Well I was waiting to start a nice 28 hour adventure home.
I have been home for over a week now. It’s pretty weird. I find myself doing things that are not that socially acceptable here: like hissing at people to get their attention.
This is my first ‘real’ day of my fourth-year of school. Being here really makes me realize my summer in Ghana is truly over.
I miss it.